Monday, January 27, 2020

Aaronic Priesthood Theme for Young Men - FREE

My son is new to the youth organization at our church. He and his quorum have set a goal to memorize the new Aaronic Priesthood theme for the Young Men. The church website had a free download for the Young Women theme but there wasn't one available for the Young Men so we decided to make our own. I kept the design nice and simple and the lettering large and easy to read. 

Feel free to print off your own 8.5 x 11 copy through the link below. 

Download the NEW Young Men theme HERE.

Also, find my NEW Young Women theme poster HERE
and free printables for the 2020 youth theme "Go and Do" HERE.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Cute Christmas Ornament for Preschoolers (Gifts Kids Can Make)

Every year at Christmastime I try to help my children look outside of themselves by encouraging them to make gifts that they can give to family and friends. (For more ideas be sure to check out my gift guide HERE.) While homeschooling my daughters co-op preschool last year we spent a month talking about serving and helping others. We talked about how when we serve our family it's like giving them a little gift. Giving a hug, helping mom or dad, or telling a story to a sibling are all little gifts we can give. When we do these things it's like we're a present! One week at preschool I wrapped each of the kids up in wrapping paper, put a big bow on their heads and took their picture. They though that was so much fun! This was in preparation to make a gift they could give their parents for Christmas and as a reminder that they can help and serve others.

The kids each got to paint a little frame for their picture to go in.

I printed off the pictures and placed them in the frame, strung a ribbon through the top, and placed some lyrics that I remember from my childhood--about how we are like a present when we serve others--on the back.


A previous year I did a similar thing with my son's preschool group. I wasn't up for a painting project that year so I let the kids color their wood frames with red and green crayons to keep it simple and not have to worry about drying time.

The kids were SO excited to see their little ornaments all put together the next time we met. They each got to put their ornament in a box and wrap it up to put under the tree when they got home and give to their moms and dads on Christmas morning. It was so much fun to see the excitement in their eyes as they prepared these gifts to give away. I think they turned out adorably cute!

To see more ideas of gifts that kids give check out my gift guide HERE.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Snow Globe Ornament (Gifts Kids Can Make)

I ran into these laminated snow globe ornaments on Crafty Morning last year and thought they were so cute and clever. My kids helped me to make some to send to their grandparents for Christmas and I think they turned out great! I'm always looking for ways my kids can think outside of themselves at Christmastime and have opportunities to give to others. Be sure to check out my gift guide of gifts that kids can make and give for more ideas!

To make the snow globe ornaments I started out with a picture that I had taken earlier in the year of my kids. I copied it into a Word document and shrunk in down to be approximately three inches long. I then printed it onto card stock using a high quality print setting.

Then came the tricky part of cutting out around all the fine details.

I then opened a laminating pouch and on the inside drew a 3 1/2 inch circle using a pen. My kids helped me paint the lower half of the circle using craft paint and then we sprinkled on some fine glitter. We placed the picture in the center of the circle and after giving the paint a few minutes to dry closed the pouch and ran it through the laminating machine. Once cool we cut out the circles and cut the bases from blue card stock, two for each ornament.

Using double sided tape we overlapped the blue base slightly over the laminated snow globe making sure the edges were even. We then turned it over and applied a second base to the backside to give it a more finished look and a little more stability.

The final touch was punching a hole near the top, stringing through some bakers twine, and tying a knot. The kids were excited to then wrap them up and send them off the Grandma and Grandpa. I think they did a fabulous job! They turned out so cute!

And because we wanted to have some more fun with this snow globe idea a few of my kids made one of their own. It was fun to see what they chose to pick to go inside their snow globe, although I can't say I'm surprised--they picked some of their favorite things!

We had a fun afternoon crafting together!

To find more ideas of gifts kids can make, check out my gift guide HERE.

Friday, November 1, 2019

Free 2020 Youth Theme Printables - Go and Do

I created some free goodies for the 2020 Youth Theme for my church. I wanted to share them here in case anyone else could use them.

The printable below I created to be a  8.5 x 11 binder cover but, of course, could be used for anything you want. I also have labels for the binder spines for the YW presidency and advisers. You can find them in the download link.

This is a 4x6 printable that can be printed on photo paper and framed if you'd like!

These bookmarks can be a fun and inexpensive reminder of this years theme to gift to the girls.

And here is a copy of the new Young Women theme. My daughter made this one as part of her Divine Nature value project and it inspired me to create the 2020 theme printables above. It can be printed as a 8x10 or a 16x20.


Friday, September 27, 2019

Star Wars Jedi Training Academy Birthday Party

My seven year old informed me last year that he wanted a Star Wars birthday party. I'm not especially knowledgeable in all things Star Wars so I headed to my favorite source of inspiration--Pinterest--to search for party and game ideas. Now, Pinterest very rarely lets me down and this was one of the few times it did. No matter how much I searched or how many blog posts I clicked through and read I just wasn't finding any ideas that wow-ed me. As I became more desperate I finally went to my husband for help and, as he often does, he surprised me with a bunch of really creative and fun ideas that I loved. As the pieces of this party started to come together I was getting really excited about it. Me. Getting excited about a Star Wars birthday party. That says a lot. The party turned out to be a blast and I think everyone had a lot of fun, especially the birthday boy.

I didn't take a ton of pictures but I wanted to share some of the fun we had to possibly help anyone who may be looking for their own inspiration for a similar type party.

I love to create digital party invitations for my kids birthdays and I love to send them through Paperless Post. They have a lot of fun options other evite sites don't have, which is why I find their site fun to use. I won't share the invitation I made here since it has too much personal information on it but Pinterest and Etsy are full of creative Star Wars invite ideas.

My seven year old helped me create this chalk board art and added his own special touch with the lightsaber drawing. The Jedi robe is a favorite dress up that his grandma made him a few years ago.

Blowing Up the Death Star
As the party began and friends trickled in everyone kept busy making paper air planes and aiming them for the Death Star in an attempt to blow it up.  The kids had a blast and could have done this all day. It was hard to pull them away and move on to the next thing. This Death Star is a beach ball that my son got for his birthday a few years ago. I found it on Amazon for around $5. 


Obstacle Course in the Swamp with Yoda
We then headed down to the basement where we trained with Yoda in the swamp. We showed a little clip from the movie on our projector where Obi-Wan Kanobi talks about what a Jedi is and what the force is (because I figured some kids might not know), and then had the kids take this little Yoda through an obstacle course that was set up in the basement.

Using the Force
After that, all the friends got to practice using the force by moving some meteorites. I had two big balls of foil sitting on a long toy shelf. There was some fishing line attached and looped through a beam overhead. My 10 and 12 year olds hid behind the shelf and pulled the fishing line to have the "meteorite" rise as each party go-er  used the force. The kids were really surprised at first to see the meteorites move. It was fun to see the reaction on their faces. It didn't take them long to figure out what was actually happening but they still had a lot of fun.

Lightsaber Training
Then it was time for lightsaber training. I lucked out finding some lightsabers at the dollar store for the kids to use. They worked perfectly for our party and when the party was over the kids got to take one home as a party favor. My husband is the best and agreed to lead the kids in this activity and taught them some moves like they do at the Jedi Training Academy at Disneyland. If you search YouTube you can find a bunch of videos of it to help you understand what I'm talking about. It was fun to see the kids take it so seriously and really enjoy it.

And then . . . (cue the music) Darth Vader walked around the corner and down the stairs! My bestest ever 12 year old wore her little brothers jacket and a Darth Vader mask that I found at Target's dollar spot. Each newly trained Jedi then got to battle Darth Vader (background music included). 

"The force is weak with you. Join the dark side and together we can rule the galaxy!"

Lightsaber Balloon Game
Of course we defeated Darth Vader and celebrated with a bunch of balloons. We used the balloons to play a game using the lightsabers to try and keep the balloons from touching the ground.

We then headed upstairs and continued our celebration of defeating Darth Vader by eating Wookie cookies and opening presents.

These cute little Wookies were fun to make. I used a gingerbread man cookie cutter and added the marks with a fork before baking. Once the cookies cooled I piped on the details using melted chocolate chips and white chocolate chips. I thought they turned out to be a fun treat. The birthday boy sure liked them!

Lightsaber Limbo and Hot Potato Yoda
After treats we still had some time left so we played a few more games that the birthday boy came up with. First we played lightsaber limbo by limbo-ing under a lightsaber. Then we played hot potato with our cute little plush Yoda. I thought they were such creative ideas and a lot of fun!

From the amount of fun I saw everyone having I would call this party a success! I think the birthday boy made a lot of fun memories and had a blast with his friends. This will definitely be a party we will remember for a long time.

Check out our other birthday parties:

(Not Your Everyday) Princess Birthday Party

Lets Get Crafty

Pirate Party Treasure Hunt

Monday, July 8, 2019

3D Perler Bead Pokeball

This post is long overdue but here are the instructions on how to make a 3D perler bead pokeball as promised.
(Find our 3D Perler Bead Pikachu instructions HERE.)

The colors can be arranged to make other designs too. My 10 year old informed me that pictured bellow is a greatball, pokeball, and ultraball.

Here are all the pieces ironed and ready to start building. The key to making your pokeball come together easily is to iron the pieces just enough to have them melt together. If you use too much heat and pressure so that the pieces get too flat it will be hard for the pieces to fit together easily.

Putting your pokeball together is kind of like building a 3D puzzle. The pieces fit and lock together. Follow the visual instructions below to build your pokeball.

These come together pretty easily. You can really get carried away and create all kinds of designs with these (I know my kids did!). Let your creativity soar and have fun!

Find our 3D Perler Bead Pikachu instructions HERE.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Healthy No Bake Cookies

No-bake cookies were a favorite of mine as a girl. I wanted to share this childhood favorite with my kids but most no-bake cookie recipes call for a whopping two cups of sugar! This grown up healthier version tweaks the ingredients a tad to make them better for you. Instead of all that sugar these cookies are sweetened with only 1/3 cup honey. I think this recipe tastes just as good as the original except that I feel better feeding it to my family.

We have a peanut allergy in our house so instead of the the traditional peanut butter I use sunflower seed butter and we like them just as much that way. I also like to use a combination of old fashioned oats and quick oats to add some variety to the texture. If you only have one or the other on hand just use what you have and they will still be delicious.

Healthy No-Bake Cookies


1 cup sunflower seed butter or other nut butter
1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup grass fed butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups old-fashioned oats
1 cup quick oats
3 tablespoons cocoa powder

Get the rest of the recipe over at Nourishing Bites.